Tag Archives: Poland

Austeria / The Inn (1982) Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Franciszek Pieczka, Wojciech Pszoniak, Jan Szurmiej, Drama, War

austeria-aka-the-inn-1982
Austeria takes place during the opening days of World War I, in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. Tag (Franciszek Pieczka) is a Jewish innkeeper whose inn (austeria means inn in the local Polish dialect) is located near the border with Russia. War has broken out and local civilians are fleeing the advancing Russian Army, and several groups of refugees have taken shelter in Tag’s inn for the night. A group of Hassidic jews from the neighboring village arrive, followed by an Austrian baroness on and a Hungarian hussar cut off from his unit…

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Sanatorium pod klepsydra / The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) Wojciech Has, Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Irena Orska, Drama, Fantasy

sanatorium-pod-klepsydra-aka-the-hourglass-sanatorium-1973
The film depicts its protagonist, Joseph (Jan Nowicki), traveling through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge, or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.

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Salto / Jump (1965) Tadeusz Konwicki, Zbigniew Cybulski, Jerzy Block, Marta Lipinska, Drama

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A man hops off a train by the small town where he claims he was before. His presence allows to bring out the inner feelings and beliefs of the inhabitants. A man who has hidden through all of the war because he looked Jewish, even if he is not, took on a fame of a dead Jewish actor he resembles. The visitor’s wife shows up to claim his and indicate that he is always running off. He escapes in the end for another town.

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Czlowiek z zelaza / Man of Iron (1981) Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania, Drama, History

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A worker becomes a “man of iron” forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. In Warsaw in 1980, the Party sends Winkel, a weak, alcoholic TV hack, to Gdansk to dig up dirt on the shipyard strikers, particularly on Maciek Tomczyk, an articulate worker whose father was killed in the December 1970 protests. Posing as sympathetic, Winkel interviews people who know Tomczyk, including his detained wife, Agnieszka. Their narrations become flashbacks using actual news footage of 1968 and 1970 protests and of the later birth of free unions and Solidarity.

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Aktorzy prowincjonalni / Provincial Actors (1979) Agnieszka Holland, Halina Labonarska, Tadeusz Huk, Iwona Biernacka, Comedy, Drama

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In reality, the comedy-drama can be read as a commentary on the contemporary Polish scene in politics and society. The story begins as a savvy director arrives in a small town to put on a stage play. His leading man is filled with insecurities and goes beyond the confines of his lead role to expand his part, restore his cut lines, and generally outdo himself while taking on some of everyone else’s job, including the director’s. No one wants to lose him because of his drawing power, and the director is caught in a bind. At the same time, the lead actor’s wife is slowly losing her chances at success, being relegated to a much lesser position in the troupe. This fine comedy won the Fipresci award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

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Faraon (1966) Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jerzy Zelnik, Wieslawa Mazurkiewicz, Barbara Brylska, Drama, Historical

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The story, based on actual historic events, concerns an invented ruler Ramses XIII (Jerzy Zelnick) – actually there were 11 Ramses in the archaeological record – plunked into the drama experienced by Ramses XI. While still Crown Prince, handsome, athletically built Ramses yearns to stem the gradual decline of Egypt’s empire and to reform the miserable lives of the huge peasant and labouring classes. Young Ramses’ plans, abiding until his rapidly ailing, aged father Ramses XII’s (Andrej Girtler) death, greatly displease the powerful, numerous sacerdotal caste, particularly its most influential elder, an actual personage – the Sun God Amon-Ra’s high priest Herihor (Pietr Pawlowski), the real, long-term power behind the throne.

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